Spooner Sets Meet Record in 3,200 Meters
Although the warm sun brought a welcome respite from the cold to most people in the area yesterday, it proved harsh to West Springfield’s Mike Spooner at the 34-team Allen Johnson Invitational. While toiling in the 3,200 meters, the All-Met runner said he repeatedly licked his lips, only to have them dry out as quickly as he could wet them.
Despite the heat and a parched throat, Spooner emerged victorious in a meet record 9 minutes 9.87 seconds, outdistancing runner-up Brian Landry of Jefferson by 25 seconds at Lake Braddock High in Burke. Spooner said the key to running Virginia’s fastest 3,200 time this season could be found in what he’d been studying in his wildlife recreation class.
“We’ve been going over the weather and how when a cold front comes through, a warm front follows it,” Spooner said. “I knew with the weather we’d been having, it was going to get pretty hot. I think the most important part of me being able to survive today was hydration.”
Manchester of Richmond won the team championship with a combined boys’ and girls’ total of 100.5 points, ahead of Osbourn Park (89) and Westfield (87.5). Osbourn Park had the top girls’ team score (76) and Manchester had the top boys’ score (69).
Several sprinters were able to take advantage of the warm weather. The 400 had three athletes finish in less than 50 seconds, with Lee senior Sean Holston blazing to victory in a meet-record 46.55. Holston also won the 200 in 21.07, another meet record. His 200 time currently is the fastest in the nation, according to DyeStat.com.
The 800 featured a highly anticipated showdown between Washington-Lee senior Chris Tyson and Gonzaga senior Aaron Taylor. Tyson led after 300 meters, but Taylor surged with 200 meters left and edged Tyson at the finish line in 1:56.61.
On the girls’ side, Centreville’s Brittni Finch won the 200 (25.02) after shattering the meet long jump record with a leap of 19 feet 2.25 inches. Brooke Point’s April Sinkler was second in the long jump but topped Finch in the triple jump. Sinkler went 38-6, more than a foot farther than Finch, and won the high jump (5-6).
West Springfield senior Trish Friederich was another double event winner. She rifled through the 100 hurdles in 14.6 before tackling the 300 hurdles in 44.41.